gn_wendy - 7:30 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)
We've back to the Altavista age.
..to have some conclusive data within the next three to six months.
The site I work with is HUGE. I use different systems for different subdomains in order to test what works best. We just did a relaunch. For G'-bot to come full circle it takes about 2 months if I have a high crawlrate and longer if not. After that time I can start analyzing the data, which again, there is a lot of ;)
But I'm in it for the long haul, so I don't mind the wait. I have enough on my plate anyway.
Personally I think 100 links per page is way too many.
I agree... the fewer links you can have on a page, and the fewer hubs you can get away with the better. It depends on the structure and what type of content you have. For us I have been limited to (on the second tier) 30 pages. Those 30 pages link to between 20 and 200 from each page. I wanted to do it very differently, but that doesn't work for the site or "usability". Which brings me to:
How many users are actually going to be navigating into the content?
I wonder if search is the primary navigation method used by users to get around
I would say that the linking structure is for google to find and index pages -- users will then use google to find what they are looking for. At least that is how I optimize the page I work on. Users can search on our page as well, but most people are 1-time visitors with 1 or at the most 4 pageviews.
That said: I do a lot of SEO for the site -- and most of what I do is to position pages better in the rankings. As you may have figured the site lives off of traffic from G'. Since the site is heavily optimized we have decided to keep the site as "clean" as possible. That is we only do things that "would" or "could" make sense for a user so that we have a fallback in case the site is up for manual review. Call me paranoid, but I like to cover all my bases.
at the end of the day it comes down to what works best for you. You will need links to the main site. You will also need a lot of links to each category/theme/hub page. You are also going to need a fair amount of deep links to signal to google that the content on the deep pages also are of value.
The thinner you spread your site -- and the larger your site -- the more links you are going to need to the respective areas. This is something that I would keep in mind when creating the structure. I would refrain from going with a structure that people would not find any use in linking to (for example and HTML-sitemap-type links page). You can have those in between, but I would also have some useful and linkable content in there.